Upcycled Charity Shop Raid to Victorian Teacher Outfit

Can you believe my colleague said that this look genuinely suited me? I don’t know exactly what she meant, but this is not going to be my look of choice, don’t worry.
One of the many joys of being a teacher, is having to dress up on frequent occasions. It used to be so embarrassing having to dash to the petrol station with what is clearly pyjamas under your coat. But now, so many people where I live make no attempt to get dressed, it’s an everyday occurrence. You don’t often get locals dressed as Victorians though, so the embarrassment factor was high when I dropped Hazel at nursery.

I could not believe my luck when I found everything I needed to make a Victorian outfit in one shop! I picked up two shirts, one white with pin tucks that I thought would look a bit ruffley, but it had ¾ length sleeves and I didn’t want to live with the shame of exposed wrists. The other shirt was sheer and black, with awful gold beads sewn on to the pockets. Potential. The skirt section didn’t have any skirts long enough. Thankfully, something made me take a peek in the dress section and there was the perfect option. A maxi dress which would easily make a floor length skirt. The shop has quite a vintage vibe so I was delighted to find a basket of crochet doilies – I got the whole outfit for 12 pounds– hurrah!

I used my tracing wheel and some old wallpaper to trace the shape of the back yoke. Then I used this to mark the shape on one of the doilies. Now I had a doily that would fit the back yoke and lay flat.

All I had to do for the skirt was chop off the top part. The wide elastic that was meant to hold the dress up worked perfectly as a waistband. As the dress was gathered at the waist originaly, I actually wore it backwards to create a bustle effect.

The pockets and gorgeous gold beads had to be removed. I wore a long sleeved t-shirt underneath to combat the sheerness of the fabric. I used my other doily to fashion a bit of ruffley neck decoration and fastened it with a brooch.

I think the only authentic Victorian thing in this photo is the Victorian house I`m standing in.

Should have shoved something under there for a bustle…

The back in all its glory.

Well we all had a great day dressed as Victorians. Next time you roll your eyes when a message comes home from school that your kids have got to dress up- again – spare a thought for their teacher who normally ends up having to dress up too! Or, if you`re not going to a fancy dress event, but are shopping in your onesie, maybe try jeans?

4 thoughts on “Upcycled Charity Shop Raid to Victorian Teacher Outfit

  1. You look very severe! What a great up cycling project – fancy having a job where you dress up! must make it a lot of fun! Much better education than the strict old Victorians.
    I used to take my Kids to Manor Farm (they filmed the Wartime Farm there a few years ago) their favourite part of the museum was the teacher’s house with the schoolroom! We played many a lesson there – of course they were fascinated by the long, thick cane!


    • They love it when we shout and get all strict! I can do a good scary face – it’s how I’ve survived in teaching so long, I think!
      It does go to show it’s worth having a poke around the charity shops before buying fabric. I’ll probably try it again for a ‘normal outfit.

      Liked by 1 person

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